Morgan Ashurst division expected to lose at least 30 staff. Rok redundancies reach 750

Morgan Sindall is looking to make a number of redundancies at its construction business Morgan Ashurst.

It is understood that Morgan Ashurst’s offices will lose at least 30 members of staff. The subsidiary has over 2,000 employees working out of 29 UK offices on public and private sector projects worth up to £300m. It is understood that social housing arm Lovell may also be affected.

While there is no breakdown of how the job cuts will be split as yet, a source close to the company identified these two subsidiaries as the ones most at risk and confirmed that the group was entering a consultation process over the proposed redundancies.

The news comes as Rok, which also has a strong presence in social housing, announced 750 job cuts following a shock profit warning for the four months to November 2008. The figure equates to 15% of its total workforce, and includes the 200 redundancies announced in September and the 30 in August.

Rok’s share price fell more than 50% to 35p in early trading on Wednesday after the announcement.

Rok blamed the credit crunch for an expected £120m fall in 2008 turnover below expectations of about £1.1bn. It is expected to knock £12m from profits.

It said £150m worth of committed projects had been cancelled or deferred.

Kevin Cammack, an analyst at Singer Capital Markets, described the trading update as “dreadful”. Howard Seymour at Numis Securities added: “The implication is that the stock market may take a more aggressive view of framework contracts in the public sector, and social housing in particular.”